First previewed at CES, TiVo’s dedicated “transcoder” hardware is slated for a summer release according to remarks made during the company’s quarterly call. The small box above is designed to relay both live and recorded television from a TiVo Premiere DVR to so called “second screen” devices such as a smartphone or tablet. For example, back in January, Tech of the Hub took a look at the prototype streaming video from a TiVo to an iPad.
TiVo currently describes this upcoming product using technical terms (transcode, sideload), so I’ve taken it upon myself to label the new initiative a more consumer-friendly “TiVo To Go 2.0”. Whereas the original TiVo To Go feature, first available in 2005, copies recorded programming from a TiVo to a computer for viewing or processing and later transfer to a mobile device, TTG 2.0 transcoding duties have been offloaded to the box above. Real-time TiVo-to-portable streaming will be limited to in-home usage… meaning, this won’t replace a Slingbox. However, any TiVo video recordings that aren’t locked down (via the Copy Once CCI Byte flag) can be quickly transferred via a “high speed side load capability” to take those shows with you on the road.
In terms of TiVo Transcoder cost, we don’t have much to offer. One reader reports being recently surveyed about a potential $169 price point. The somewhat similar, although less capable, DirecTV Nomad does run $149. But I’m hopeful TiVo To Go 2.0 comes in at no more than $129… and I don’t imagine it’ll require a service fee.